Al Gallico

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Al Gallico was one of the most influential and powerful music publishers in postwar pop, with a massive catalog spanning from Nashville smashes to British Invasion blockbusters. Born in New York City…
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Al Gallico was one of the most influential and powerful music publishers in postwar pop, with a massive catalog spanning from Nashville smashes to British Invasion blockbusters. Born in New York City in 1920, Gallico first entered the music industry in 1938 as a gofer for classical publisher G. Schirmer, within a year landing a song-plugging gig with Leeds Music. After 14 years with the firm, he was appointed general professional manager with Shapiro, Bernstein & Company, and in 1961 relocated to Nashville to launch the company's Painted Desert Music division. Two years later, he founded his own Al Gallico Music Corporation. Among the first writers Gallico hired was Nashville composer Billy Sherrill, who in 1965 hit paydirt with David Houston's country music classic "Almost Persuaded" -- during his tenure with Gallico, Sherrill received no fewer than 89 top song awards from performing rights organization BMI, hitting time and again with country landmarks including "Stand by Your Man," "My Elusive Dreams," and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World." Gallico also discovered and managed acts like Donna Fargo and Joe Stampley and signed noted country tunesmiths including Glenn Sutton, George Richey, and Earl Montgomery, but his interests extended far outside of Nashville -- his firm controlled the rights to songs spanning from the Animals' "House of the Rising Sun" to the Zombies' "Time of the Season." Gallico and Sherrill co-founded Algee Music in 1973 -- in 1986, Columbia Pictures Music acquired both Al Gallico Music and Algee, although he retained control of the smaller publishing firms Mainstay and Mainspring. Gallico was honored in 1995 as the winner of the Songwriters Hall of Fame's Abe Olman Publishers Award. He died of cardiac arrest and pulmonary disease on May 15, 2008, in Los Angeles.